That’s what octogenarian Laurie wanted to know. She was puzzled about how The Five-Year Marriage could be good for women?”
How could NOT be good to have the power to make clear marital agreements, be an equal partner, and have the mechanism for renegotiating those agreements and joint responsibilities – especially after the euphoria of love and lust wears away?
Still, Laurie’s question made me think. In Laurie’s generation women were schooled to get married, cook, clean, have kids, and be stay-at-home moms. That was their job, and they were dependent on it for their livelihood. Without that job, what would they do? Laurie’s generation believed “Father Knows Best” and women like Lucy and Harriet acted like Desi and Ozzie knew more than they did, and let them make all the decisions.
A woman’s dependence on the marriage and male domination made her vulnerable to a lot of bad things. But change was in the works. It started with women getting the right to vote in 1920; WWII created seismic shifts. With men at war, women were able to get jobs – and even managerial positions – in places they previously couldn’t – aircraft plants, shipyards, manufacturing. Many liked it – and resented being expected to go back to being housewives when the soldiers came home.
In addition, women were shamed into raising their daughters the same way. In the 1956 article “Raise Your Daughter to Be a Wife” in Parents Magazine, Constance J. Foster wrote this chilling edict: “Long before it’s time for Mom to help plan the wedding dress or Dad to give the bride away, it’s time to be raising a future wife in your home. Because wives aren’t born – they are made.” And author Eve Nelson warned women, “It’s up to you to create a female aura before she can even say ‘goo’.”
Those things fueled the rebellion that later became “women’s liberation” and the second wave of feminism. That’s when all hell broke loose and feminism opened doors for many women.
Fast forward to today.
Younger women can’t fathom a world where you couldn’t get a credit card or a phone in your own name. Today many, many women own their own house, but when I bought my first house, as a single woman, it was an oddity. Today women have advanced degrees, executive positions, thriving businesses and, more and more, sit on the boards of major corporations.
Even socially-speaking, there is no longer a stigma of shame if she gets pregnant and keeps the baby with or without the father, or chooses to live with a man before marriage.
Yes, there are still so many issues for women, but the worst of them are history, or are being addressed with movements like #MeToo.
Back in Laurie’s day, the old-style marriage that allowed a man to be in charge without question, and a woman to shut-up and do what was expected, was the norm. Women had almost no power.
Today that kind of marriage is simply obsolete. Women have grown up and frown into their own power.
Today’s empowered woman needs a marital structure that honors the changes of the past fifty-sixty-seventy years. That’s the Five-Year Marriage. It shifts the old paradigm, giving women a voice, and the power to go with that voice. And, at the same time, it honors the men who join them in an equal partnership.
In the end, empowering women to be equal partners is what The Five-Year Marriage does…to the good of both partners.
#FiveYearMarriage, #MarriageTips. #LoveAndMarriage, #PartnershipMarriage, #ModernMarriage #WomensEmpowerment, #MarriageContract, #RelationshipAdvice, #AnnmarieKelly, #ContractMarriage